Townsville business owner ‘optimistic’ despite closure

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Originally published via Townsville Bulletin

Battling a slowing economy the owner of a closed deli will be focusing his attention on keeping a popular city cafe going.

Owner of Betty Blue and The Lemon Tart, Chris Christensen, said it was tough closing Christo’s Deli at The Precinct.

“For us the decision to close was a sad one but it’s much better that we can remain operating (the cafe),” he said.

“They were complimentary, they worked together.

“(Now) with the slowing of the economy I will be focusing on the one aspect.”

Mr Christensen said the floods at the start of the month played a role in the deli closure after a six day power outage forced him to throw away all of his wholesale stock from the fridges and freezers.

However, it was the “quietening down of the economy over the last three years” which posed the biggest hurdle.

Mr Christensen said his cafe was going as well as it could.

“Betty Blues is going like most businesses in the CBD; we’re remaining optimistic,” he said.

“We are a very optimistic family. We believe in Townsville and the economy will come back.

“We need as much locally owned, and more than that family owned, businesses.

“The more that we can create and produce quality products in Townsville the better.”

Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Debbie Rains said local businesses suffered a major blow following the floods.

She said the chamber was contacting members to gauge the true effect of the wild weather event.

“It will unfortunately be inevitable that some businesses won’t be in a position to reopen,” she said.

“The businesses that we have contacted are trying to get back to business as much as they can.”

Ms Rains said many business owners have been left confused by insurance policies and what support they can get — be it through grants or loans.

“There’s still a level of confusion (but) a lot of businesses aren’t sure what levels of support there is,” she said.

“We’re very encouraged a lot of financial institutions have extended lease payments.”

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